Porno Tomato

I gardened a lot with Butch. Butch taught me to hoe. Butch taught me to mow. Butch taught me to blow. Leaf blow. He trained my macho green thumb, although he calls it a mint thumb. Butch, Big Papa Lesbrain, goes nuts for pastels.

Pistachio Butch!

Scottish study found that the people who reap the beefiest psychological benefit from vegging out (and by vegging out, I mean recreating among plants) are people like you and me, the mentally ill. Dressed in the butchest of pastels, I shared this bit of hope with Griz as we tore tomato plants that had gone irreparably goth from her plot at the Long Beach Community Garden.

Shrinks, if you see Ewok Village, keep walking. They don’t need your kind.

I added, “I should really live in a tree,” and mentally returned to my favorite childhood clothing store’s dressing room. It occupied the hollow of an artificial oak trunk which sprouted from the fairytale-themed shop’s center. Mom would load me with dirndls and sweater dresses and order me to march my pompis into el roble to find out what “feet.” That’s the way her guacamole-inflected accent pronounces fit. Its got a fetish.

After shutting bark door, I’d throw the clothes on the ground, strip to my Underoos, leave on my cleats, and practice butch squirrel faces very close to the mirror. Once that fogged up, I’d leap onto a bench, I loved that inside of a tree, there was somewhere to sit, and squat.

I was hoarding nuts only I could feel between my legs.

Griz, in the voice of moving water, whispered, “All I want is a river in my backyard.”

Leave the hose running,” I thought.

Still a hoarder, I was salvaging tomatoes from Griz’ dying plants. My fingers hardly had to pluck them. With gentle flicks, they fell into my palm. I couriered them to a fattening pile against the plot’s wire fence, setting each down, tomato by tomato.

“The sexy ones,” I thought, “I’ll eat. Saint Ignatius can enjoy the unattractive ones.”

Do these tomatoes share a body or does this body share a tomato?

Saint, our recently adopted iguana, enjoys tomatoes with a slow, deliberate, reptilian passion. I plop them atop his tailored salads designed to prevent osteoporosis. Without the proper diet, iguanas can become brittle, as brittle as Sally Field.

Crick? Crack!

Harvesting tomatoes served as a passport into pornucopia.

As I tapped these funny little citruses, watching them land in my hand, each radiated an individual sexiness. They flexed this sexiness through size, shape, texture, tautness, or lack thereof. The fruits’ unabashed eroticism embarrassed me a touch, I was going to be putting them in my mouth, but layered over my embarrassment was…joy.

“The Scottish are right!” I thought to myself. “Plant life is bringing me ‘warm feelings.'”

Holding one boyish tomato, I said to Griz, “Tomatoes can be so scrotal.” I flashed my tomato.

Bulges bulged from bulges. Nature had chosen to make a man of this fruit.

Ripping a tomato corpse from the earth, Griz offered, “In the end, these are just weeds. A little water, some soil, and they’ll grow everywhere.”

“Yeah,” I agreed, struggling to uproot an extra bitchy plant, “if we let them have their way, they’d sprawl all over everything.” I looked at the nearby freeway. “They’d sprawl across the 605. They’d take over everything, like the British.”

Tomatoes manifest a destiny that goes well with spaghetti.

With plant corpses overflowing from our wheelbarrows, Griz and I pushed down narrow garden lanes. Some of the dead wanted to stay with their families, skeletal arms reached for fence wires, tangling with them, but I shoved forward, determined to heave them towards plant oblivion, which is not oblivion at all. We were destined for a life-giving place, a compost heap, a trash womb.

I’d like to be composted when I die. That way, I’ll be useful.

Human compositing in Tibet. Dad says that he’d like to go this way, too, as long as pastels can be worked in. If we can find the above Tibetan, we can make it happen.

We dumped the dead with the rest of the decaying matter, wheeled back, and wrestled more tomato monsters. Most left the earth cooperatively but a few fought their exit. Fear of the unknown? Perhaps. I knelt and crawled around one particularly dark plant, black vines curling like burnt antlers, and I reached between these vines, for a red pouch dangling placentaishly. Turning my fingers into tweezers, I detached it from its parent, and by its stem, brought the sack towards my body.

“I found a placenta!” I announced and then something greater than me made me drop it. Membrane tore and sauce splooged, splattering dirt, soil drinking some of the rancidness, my canvas shoes drinking the rest.

The smell came at me so urgently. In the sack, life and death had lived as roommates. I was inhaling sex mixed with the odor of my grandmother’s death.

My grandmother’s death had an undeniably particular smell.

“Do you remember that movie Attack of the Killer Tomatoes?” I asked Griz.

She laughed, “Yes!”

“Those were good plant villains,” I said. “Usually, plant villains are kind of stupid. I can’t take them seriously. They’re PLANTS. But seeing  Attack of the Killer Tomatoes made me look at fruit in a new light. I kept an eye on our vegetable garden after that.”

Thank god plants are rarely cast as villains, but when they are, the memorable ones are unapologetic carnivores. Any time food is cast as a villain, in order for it to really terrorize, it must eat it’s eaters back. It can’t cop out of the circle of life.

Squash face is HUNGRY!

“Look, oh my god, look!” said Griz. With both hands, she ferried something towards me. “I found this in that plant!” She tilted her head towards a tomato.

In her hands scratched the ultimate DIY project, a nest. Everything in it was a repurposed piece of cast-off something, strings, twigs, polyesters, toilet papers, engineered to form a home.  The ingenuity it represented made us smile at each other as if we’d built it. Is this why explorer’s act so smug when they walk into someone else’s home? Why does discovering somebody else’s ingenuity make us feel responsible for it? All we did was bump into it.

“There were no eggs in it,” said Griz. “They’ve grown up and flown away.”

“Or,” I suggested, “maybe somebody left a note on their windshield.” (Refer to prior entry, American Us, to read Griz’ Labor Day fan mail)

Agreeing that the nest seemed abandoned, we decided that Griz should keep it. Considering it’s inhabitants were subletting a plant , they must’ve been extremely well-adjusted.

Griz placed the nest in a wire basket holding maternal eggplants, erect zucchinis, and so many red dots. With a saw, I hacked at unruly chard, a grasshopper sprang forth, and I solved the problem by smashing him with my naked hand.

A corn wall whispered to my left, cowlicky onions screamed to have their hair smoothed, and out of the corner of my eye, an artichoke patch burped thistles a faggot dinosaur could’ve picked to hew a corsage for his prehistoric prom date, another faggot dinosaur.

“Will the iguana eat squash?” Griz asked.

“The iguana is a Native American,” I reminded her. “If the food is indigenous to America he should eat it. Otherwise, he’s a race traitor.”

Uncle Tom.

I set down my saw, and we finished raking the plot and watering the plot, making it more beautiful than the other pieces of dirt surrounding it. Done, Griz and I admired one another, congratulating ourselves on embodying our ancestors’ notion of femininity; the filth goddess.

Tlaçolteotl, you’re so dirty.

We loaded our harvest into our respective vehicles and drove to our respective homes.

I found TJ in bed and displayed a cerebral glob of tomato on her imaginary muffin top.

(Can you see this baked good TJ speaks of? I can’t, but maybe you’re éclairvoyant!)

Scooping the tomato off imagined fat, I carried it with me to the kitchen and introduced it to my face.

I  tasted a flavor my dead body will someday, hopefully, enhance: California.

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